Which is the best choice for gastroesophageal disorders: Melatonin or proton pump inhibitors?

World J Gastrointest Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Oct 6;1(5):102-6. doi: 10.4292/wjgpt.v1.i5.102.


Melatonin is used in many countries to improve sleep disorders. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland and enterochromaffin cells which control sleep and gastrointestinal motility. Low levels of melatonin lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Most of patients with GERD have a sleep disorder. So, low melatonin levels is the main cause of insomnia. Beyond this, it has an inhibitory action on gastric acid secretion and seems to control the lower esophageal sphincter. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a group of drugs whose main action is a pronounced and long-lasting reduction of gastric acid production. They are the most potent inhibitors of acid secretion available today. Omeprazole (one of the PPIs) and melatonin have similarities in their chemical structures. Therefore, we could consider omeprazole as a rough copy of melatonin. In this paper, we compare the advantages and disadvantages of the clinical use of melatonin and PPIs.

Keywords: Gastritis; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Melatonin; Omeprazole; Sleep disorder; Ulcers.